Gov. Rick Scott’s War on Zika:
4. I will begin each round table discussion by thanking everybody there for all their hard work in the battle against Zika. They, in turn, will thank me.
7. The next part of the round-table meeting will be spent denying that I’m suppressing information about the Zika cases, or downplaying the threat from the disease. I remain confident that we can address all public-health issues without scaring off a single tourist (or, at least, fewer tourists than were scared off by the toxic algae blooms).
9. Then I’ll blame the federal government for not giving Florida more money for fighting Zika. If anyone at the table asks why a Republican governor can’t get health-crisis funds from a Republican Congress, I will start coughing as if I’ve got a piece of a Rolaids stuck in my throat.
10. After taking a drink of water, I’ll soften my tone and say that I want a working “partnership” with the federal government in the fight against this serious disease.
11. If anyone at the table points out that President Obama asked Congress for $1.9 billion in Zika funds way back in February, and asks me why House Republicans sabotaged the bill by adding off-the-wall provisions to punish Planned Parenthood and honor the Confederate flag, I’ll let my eyes glaze over, stammer for a moment and then repeat my wishes for a “partnership” between Tallahassee and Washington.
12. Then, smoothly changing the subject, I will invite a disease expert to speak about the challenge of wiping out all Zika-bearing mosquitoes during the summer rainy season. Because it’s vital not to frighten residents and visitors, the expert should focus on sensible precautions — not the fact that there are literally millions of freaking mosquitoes hatching every day in puddles and ditches all over South Florida.
13. Before the meeting is called to an end, I will graciously allow local office-holders to say a few words. The ones who are running for re-election will probably talk a bit too long, and express their frustrations about poor inter-government communications and the dire lack of Zika funding. Hopefully they’ll blame the feds, and not me.
14. After the round-table session is over, all panelists will be led to a secure space where they can privately re-apply the potent insect repellent of their choice. My personal favorite is unscented Deep Woods Off, with 25 percent DEET. Staff members from my office will be available with extra bottles, and also to assist with the spritzing.